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C-SMARTS

Filed under: Project-archive — mgrusin at 3:55 pm on Monday, September 7, 2009
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  • C-SMARTS Opening Animation (2004)
    60 seconds
    Lightwave, Video Toaster
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C-SMARTS stands for Colorado Students and Mentors Applying Research and Technology in Space. We took a college course called “Gateway to Space”, designed and taught by Chris Koehler at the University of Colorado, and put it onto 42 DVDs for distribution to smaller and less-advantaged schools throughout Colorado. Chris and I shot and edited the course over a very busy summer in 2004. The course includes lectures on the history of space exploration, the basics of rocket propulsion and orbital mechanics, advice for working on projects and teams, and a number of guest scientists and engineers lecturing on a variety of topics.

The title sequence shows the final project for the course: a 10cm cube “balloonsat”, which is actually flown on a high-altitude balloon. Throughout the course the students learn how to construct these experiment packages, which include digital cameras, temperature loggers, and other experiments that the students devise. At the end of the semester, the students travel to Boulder to launch their experiments on a balloon in association with Edge of Space Sciences (an amateur radio group experienced in conducting these missions). The balloons fly to 100,000′ and are tracked by GPS over amateur radio. The balloons can travel several hundred miles before bursting, at which point the experiments parachute to earth and are recovered by the students on chase teams (not one payload has ever been lost).

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